Impact of Crisis on Brand Equity – Dreamworld Tragedy 2016

DreamworldDreamworld made world news during the past few days for all the wrong reasons. The tragic incident at Dreamworld Gold Coast is still unfolding as police carry out their investigations. We know one thing for sure – it is not opening as soon as Dreamworld and some fans would have hoped. Continue reading Impact of Crisis on Brand Equity – Dreamworld Tragedy 2016

Dawn News Channel Hits Rock Bottom – PART 2

This is PART 2 of my blog entry on the same topic published on November 21st 2010.

The Mast Morning program that aired on Friday, November 12th 2010 takes the trophy for being the most appalling program that Dawn has probably ever aired. Seeing two famous media personalities, Mustansar Hussain Tarar and Faryal Gohar, being interviewed by Juggan Kazim was ironic to say the least. Continue reading Dawn News Channel Hits Rock Bottom – PART 2

Dawn News Channel Hits Rock Bottom – PART 1

Dawn News channel, since recently, is becoming a classic case of a mismanaged brand. Many a brand has made the mistake of faltering at managing its equity. Building a brand poses many challenges but managing a brand with reasonable equity can be extremely tough as well. Measurement of brand equity is the hottest area of research in marketing and is something that the best brains in marketing worldwide are struggling with. So measurement is tricky and challenging alright. But managing a brand with high equity is no rocket science. So why is Dawn losing out on its hard earned equity at such a rapid pace?

Dawn news channel is a brand that had become an integral part of our lives for some of us in Pakistan. Dawn is the oldest and most widely read English newspaper in the country. It was founded in 1941 by none other than Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah himself. In 2007, Dawn launched the first 24 hour English news channel. Interestingly 2007 marked my return from the UK and Dawn news channel was a fresh change from PTV News and all the other local news channels. I only remembered watching BBC and CNN in Pakistan to get credible news that is presented sensibly by professional journalists. Dawn news channel offered the best mix of well-balanced local and international news. The news casters, reporters, and hosts of programs had fresh and well-groomed faces, professional attire, and amazing accents. Everything about the channel from 2007 till sometime in 2010 promised class, truthfulness, a sense of uprightness, and taste. From the news coverage to a Taste of Fusion to No Reservations by Kamiar Rokni – the channel had a consistency which few brands can dream of offering to their customers. The harshest critics of Dawn newspaper referred to it as “boring” and the same for Dawn news channel referred to it as “elitist” in comparison to Express news channel, which was launched only recently in 2009. This perception was due to the fact that it seemed to cater primarily to the well-educated, urban citizens of Pakistan. Seemingly Dawn news channel had been struggling for sponsorships and some cable operators were not even providing Dawn news to their subscribers due to limited viewership. So clearly all was not well in the house of Dawn Group of Newspapers.

Dawn’s answer to some of the problems it was facing with its brand was rather shocking. In the summer of 2010, Dawn switched its English transmission completely to Urdu – everything from the news to the programs is in Urdu now. Dawn went so far in catering to the mass market that it even changed its morning show “First Blast” to “Mast Mornings with Juggan Kazim”. The two programs are as opposite to each other as they can possibly be. Mast mornings is as frivolous as the name suggests. Personally speaking, this particular program has changed the brand personality of Dawn for the worse. The print ad of the program with Juggan Kazim doing interesting antics convinced me to see the program. This is how watching Mast Mornings became an agenda on my already overwhelming to-do list. The first program was a shocker of sorts. Juggan was dressed for a wedding with earrings to match (http://plixi.com/p/55680158). The guests were none other than Syed Noor and Sana from the local film industry. No surprise there since Juggan will be appearing in films soon. The program was good at one thing. It was clear to me that Dawn channel had changed too dramatically, too soon and definitely for the worse.

Purpose brands: A Likely Cure for Marketing Malpractice

Purpose brands create powerful means of differentiation in the minds of customers as they are tightly associated to the job for which customers hire them. Advertising and WoM communication play a vital role in building awareness for the purpose brands and creating positive and strong brand associations, which result in brand equity. Brand equity is the added value a brand name brings to a product or service besides the functional benefits. Brand equity in case of purpose brands is built when the product does the job and people talk about it. High brand equity implies that customers perceive that the brand is of high quality, have positive and strong associations related to the brand, and are loyal to the brand.

The in-depth interviews conducted in my research revealed that the purpose brands in the selected product categories of Search Engines and Portable Digital Media Players were closely tied to the job for which customers hired these brands, and they were primarily built on WoM communication. The findings of the online questionnaires suggested that the two purpose brands had relatively higher mean scores, and enjoyed significant differences in mean scores in terms of the three core dimensions of brand equity (brand awareness / associations, perceived quality and brand loyalty), compared to the relatively more generic brands. It was concluded that there is a difference in the influence of purpose brands, compared to relatively more generic brands, on brand equity, and the influence seems to be positive.

The purpose brand approach has significant implications for marketing communications. Job-specific brands create meaningful differentiation in the customers’ minds, which could imply that marketers may need to spend less on overall advertising, other than the occasions of creating brand awareness when the product is launched and for reminder advertising. This in turn could improve the profitability of the companies. Purpose brands should be able to create a strong ‘pull’ for a brand and in this event, Internet marketing becomes a powerful tool for information dissemination. The limitations of the research were that the brand selection could be refined to enable selection of more combinations of purpose brands and relatively generic brands, and the sample could include more than just student samples.

Glossary

Advertising

Any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor

Brand awareness

The ability for a buyer to recognize or recall that a brand is a member of a certain product category

Brand associations

Anything linked in memory to a brand

Brand equity

The added value a ‘brand name’ brings to a product or service besides the functional benefits

Brand loyalty

Tendency to be loyal to a brand, which is demonstrated by the intention to buy the brand as a primary choice

Perceived quality

The consumer’s [subjective] judgement about a product’s overall excellence and superiority

Purpose Brand

The brand of a product that is tightly associated with the job for which it is meant to be hired

WoM communication

Oral, person-to-person communication between a perceived non-commercial communicator and a receiver regarding a brand, a product, or a service

Purpose branding

Making a decision about one’s MSc research project is a daunting one. That too when one wants it to act as a foundation for a PhD in the future. Well there I was, sitting in my small and rather pretty room in Guildford, thinking through all the things that ever fascinated me in the world of marketing. And it was an awakening – I thought of the article on Purpose Branding by Christensen et al (2005) published in Harvard Business Review. From there on purpose branding and the holy grail of brand equity, as some may put it, is a passion for me. Much of this blog is dedicated to marketing and a few other things that act as a source of inspiration for those who want their spirit kindled.